|Synopsis: Nine hundred years after
the Great Nuke, the Frauls rule. After a raid in which Plugarts are captured, Rhea
(Camilla Sparv), Tiara of the Frauls of Comb Frisco, inspects the prisoners, dividing them
up into "machos" and "seeders". A young Plugart, Korvis (Steve
Stroppiana), reacts violently and makes a bid for freedom, escaping despite the attempts
of the Frauls to recapture him. A second young Plugart, Gruss (Eli Pilo), goes with
Korvis. The Frauls pursue the two, but stop at the edge of a forbidden area known as the
Contam. Korvis and Gruss forage together. One day, they discover a bag full of clothing,
and a small book, which Korvis keeps
. Years later, the adult Korvis (Chuck Wagner)
and Gruss (William Wallace) are part of a community of Plugarts, who eke out an existence
in the Contam. Korvis still has the book he found, and slowly teaches himself to read. In
this way, he learns that he is not a "Plugart", but a "man"
Fraul foraging expedition is attacked by a band of Plugarts. During the struggle, Rhea is
fatally wounded. When she is carried back to her Comb, she declares her daughter Vena
(Laurene Landon) the new Tiara. Rhea tells Vena to follow the map kept in the Tiaras
shelt, and that it will take the society from the past into a new life. When Rhea dies,
the Frauls of Comb Frisco swear loyalty to Vena. After a reluctant silence, Venas
sister, Lakella (Victoria Barrett), does so as well. Meanwhile, Korvis and Gruss come
across the abandoned Fraul wagons. While collecting the eats and the weaps from it, they
discover Amie (Ezra Dagan), a Fraul "toy" who has been castrated and had his
tongue cut out. Frauls from the Comb Kanso arrive at Comb Frisco. Lakella greets Morha
(Sue Giosa), Tiara of Kanso, and Freyha (Joanna Reis), her Second. The newcomers quickly
sense Lakellas dissatisfaction with her situation. Venas inauguration begins.
The Frisco Elder (Helen Eleazari) recites the history of the Great Nuke, the rising of the
Frauls, and their separation from the Plugarts. Vena is sworn in, then lights her
mothers funeral pyre. Afterwards, there is a wild celebration. Korvis sees this as
his chance. He addresses the other Plugarts, explaining to them that they are also
"men", and that they can overthrow the Frauls. The next morning, he leads an
attack on the Comb, stealing all the eats and weaps and freeing the enslaved machos. Vena
and Lakella lead a band of Frauls in pursuit. Korvis sends his followers away on foot, and
uses a team of horses to mark a false trail. The Frauls follow it, eventually realising
the deception. They then see Korvis on a nearby ridge. Vena raises her crossbow, but
cannot bring herself to fire. Lakella does, and Korvis is sent plunging down an opening in
the rock. He survives both the fall and the crossbow shot: Lakellas arrow is
embedded in his book. Korvis finds himself in a mysterious cavern. When he touches some of
the objects he finds there, light fills the room. He finds some strange new weaps, which
he uses to blast open a door bearing something called a "Presidential Seal". In
the next room, he activates a device, and hears a message concerning people known as
"the Soviets", and objects called "missiles"
Comments: Yes, thank you, Keith; thank you
so very bloody much!
Remember that line about how the survivors of a nuclear
holocaust would actually envy the dead? Turns out it applies to people whove watched
America 3000 as well. Or, to put it another way I am woman, hear me
America 3000. A movie about a
post-apocalyptic society. Well, thats okay. A movie about a post-apocalyptic society
from Cannon Pictures, Inc. Thats not so okay
. A movie about a
post-apocalyptic society from Cannon Pictures, Inc. thats described as an
"action-comedy". That is definitely not okay. A movie about a
post-apocalyptic society from Cannon Pictures, Inc. thats described as an
"action-comedy" and in which most of the "humour" is built around
the battle of the sexes.
But believe it or not, the horror doesnt even stop
there! Oh, no. Determined to make watching his magnum opus as painful as humanly
possible, writer-director David Engelbach crafted his very own version of
"futurespeak". His script is therefore liberally extremely
liberally peppered with such colourful expressions as "neggie",
"effen" and the unforgettable "woggos". This revamped English flies
thick and fast, which doesnt exactly make for clarity of expression. To make things
even worse, America 3000 is one of those annoying films where the music and sound
effects are much louder than the dialogue. The final blow comes via the cast, none
of whom are what you might call top-flight thespians, and consequently seem to have some
difficulty with their e-nun-ci-a-tion. Or maybe theyre embarrassed to say this crap
out loud. In either case, they mumble. The upshot of all of this is that there are
whole chunks of this film where you cannot understand a damn word that anyone is
saying! Would you believe that I actually sat there for nearly an hour, playing scenes
over in an attempt to figure it out? Yeah, I know, more fool me. By the end of that time,
I wasnt an inch closer to figuring out what any of these idiots were muttering
about. I did, however, have a headache that could have killed Aargh The Awful.
(And who, precisely, you might be wondering, is
"Aargh The Awful"? Oh, dont worry. Well get to him. All in good
The film opens with onscreen text explaining that it is
now nine hundred years after the "Great Nuke". We are further told that a new
civilisation will rise up out of the "radioactive rubble". I initially assumed
that theyd used the wrong word here, and meant "rabble", but on reflection
it occurred to me that every single character in this story is considerably dumber than a
box of rocks, so "rubble" was probably right after all.
A second placard then informs us that "----And the
world was woggos!" This mysterious phrase comes with a helpful parenthetical
explanation: "In the old speak that means Crazy!"
When you cant even make it through a movies
opening crawl without feeling the hairs on the back of your neck rising up, you know
youre in BIG trouble.
The first thing that America 3000 teaches us is
that Charles Darwin was right, but not exactly in the way he thought. Clearly, when the
apocalypse came, it took out the best and brightest first. Those who survived did so, I
suspect, because of a few extra millimetres of skull thickness, which formed a protective
barrier against environmental contamination. Of course, in order to accommodate that
slightly thicker skull, its owners had to sacrifice certain cognitive functions; but then,
you cant have everything. This post-apocalyptic world sees men and women living
separately, in different societies. The women are known as "Frauls", the men as
"Plugarts". For practical purposes, it is simpler to think of them as
"Dumb" and "Dumber".
America 3000 comes with a narrator, Gruss.
Hes obviously (and I mean, very obviously, as in post-production tampering)
there to explain what might not be quite clear about this post-nuke world. In this
capacity, Gruss is occasionally granted Powers Of Omniscience, explaining to the viewer
things that he couldnt possibly know himself. To start out with, however, young
Gruss is just one of a group of captives being hauled into a compound. It may be nine
hundred years since the Apocalypse, but we see that in the interim no-one has figured out
how to build a decent house, design clothes that actually cover the body, or even make
something comfortable to sit on. However, were not supposed to be thinking about that.
Here, writer-director David Engelbach (remember that name!) springs the first of many,
many surprises: the Plugarts captors reveal their faces and THEYRE
WOMEN!!!! Yes, thats right: in this topsy-turvy world, the women are in
charge!!!! Arent you shocked? Stunned? Even HORRIFIED???? But wait!
theres more! Not only are the women superior, the men are inferior!
Helpless, mindless creatures that roam the wastelands until theyre rounded up by the
Frauls. And then they are divided up and set to the task for which they are
best suited. There are "machos", who do the heavy labour (although what that
consists of in this pathetic excuse for a "society", I cant imagine), and
there are "seeders", who do the ah, not so heavy labour. The ruler
of this particular section of Fraul society, which is known as "Comb Frisco",
walks up and down the line of captive Plugarts. Her name, we learn, is Rhea, and her title----
Interesting Things That Survived The Apocalypse #1: the
Yes, you heard me: Rhea is "the Tiara" of Comb
Frisco. Gosh, thats women for you, hey? Useful words like
"democracy" and "freedom" and "peace" might have fallen by
the wayside, but as long as youve got women around, you can be sure that useless
gaudy objects will always have a place in society.
Speaking of which: more Frauls reveal themselves here.
Theyre wearing the usual collection of artfully artless animal skins, and as
youd expect with any self-respecting Amazons, theyre all physically
attractive, thoroughly depilated and covered in truckloads of makeup, despite despising
Man And All He Stands For. Theyve also got perfect teeth, and theres not one
of them outside the age-range of fifteen to thirty. And----
Interesting Things That Survived The Apocalypse #2:
Oh, yes, these women have big hair. REALLY big hair.
Picture some kind of weird genetic mixture of Farrah Fawcett, Marge Simpson and Fran
Drescher, and youll be in the right ball-park. And I guess this explains why their
compound is called a "Comb". Like the zombies in Dawn Of The Dead, the
Frauls have retained trace memories of what was most important to them in The Time Before.
Rhea assigns the Plugarts to their new roles. Gruss waits
his own turn with apprehension, observing (in voice-over), that he "didnt need
heavy smarts to figure out that things were goen cold neggie!" He then, believe it or
not, feels compelled to add, "That means very bad!" Yes, thank you. Gruss
is dubbed a "macho", which is a giggle in itself. Then Rhea comes face to face
with a young Plugart who is somehow different (i.e. hes blond).
Impressed in spite of herself, Rhea tries to check his teeth. The boy, Korvis, pulls away.
Rheas Second strikes him for his insolence, but Rhea herself croons,
"Spirited!" She takes out her knife and slices through the boys loincloth,
which falls to the ground. All the gathered Frauls cop a good eyeful, including
Rheas pubescent daughters, Vena and Lakella. "Seeder!" pronounces Rhea.
"Mark him!" As the mortified boy gathers up the remnants of his scanty clothing,
Gruss helpfully informs us that, "Seeders were for one thing, and one thing only."
Yeah, thanks again, Brainiac. "Rhea had picked Korvis out for her own daughter,
Vena," Omniscient Gruss continues, and we see the boy making significant eye contact
with the blonder of the Tiaras two offspring. Ah, so this is where they got
the idea for the very first scene of Dharma & Greg from! Meanwhile, we learn
that when the Frauls "mark" someone, he stays "marked". Two of
Rheas subordinates come at Korvis with a branding iron the size of Tasmania. The
boy, understandably, bucks and runs, and much "comical" violence (a Fraul being
pushed into a lit brazier and set on fire, for instance dont worry too much
about it, she doesnt) ensues. Korvis eludes the enraged band of female
warriors and steals a horse. In the confusion, Gruss too breaks free, and jumps onto the
back of Korviss horse. As they gallop for the gate of the Fraul compound, Rhea
orders a net dropped. It misses the fugitives, however, and entangles a number of pursuing
Frauls. Comedy! Seeing her tribeswomen defeated and humiliated by this so-called inferior
male, the young Vena smiles approvingly. Gee, I wonder where this is heading?
Korvis and Gruss make for an area of wasteland known as
the "Contam". They know that they will be safe from the pursuing Frauls there,
as the tribes "regs" do not permit them to enter it. How convenient. The
boys team up, scavenging to survive. The turning point in the history of the world comes
when, one day, they find a metal suitcase that contains----
Interesting Things That Survived The Apocalypse #3:
Gruss pounces on a top-hat, which becomes a permanent
fixture on his person. (The main reason for this, I suspect, is to let the confused
audience known that "young Gruss" and "adult Gruss" are meant to be
the same person, despite the boy being dark-ish skinned and having dark, wildly curly
hair, and the man fair skin and straight blond hair. Great casting, guys! Speaking
of which, adult Gruss is played by one William Wallace, who I guess just cant get
enough of trying to free his people from oppression, ha, HA!) Korvis, however, is about to
Meet His Destiny. For tucked in the suitcase is a book. An ABC book. Korvis
inspects it, puzzled. He doesnt know what it is, of course, but something tells him
that it is terribly important, and he tucks it into his clothing.
And no, I dont know why anyone would respond
to the threat of nuclear annihilation by packing their evening clothes and a kids
book into a suitcase.
The boys join up with some other Plugarts who have managed
to elude the Frauls. They build a compound for themselves in some ruins that are known by
the enigmatic name of "Camp Reagan". "I never did figure out what a
"Reagan" was," Omniscient Gruss tells the audience innocently. (Greywizard,
the erudite proprietor of The Unknown Movies Page, says that David Engelbach wrote the
screenplay for America 3000 in the mid-seventies, then shelved it for a decade. I
assume that the punchline to this hilarious joke was originally, "I never did figure
out what a "Nixon" was.") Time passes (and Gruss undergoes his puzzling
metamorphosis), and we see the adult Korvis studying that mysterious book. Suddenly
enlightenment dawns. He learns to read!! Yes, just like that. As we watch, he
carefully pronounces to himself, "H-o-r-s-e."
Hey, wait a minute! youre probably exclaiming. Just
because he figures out which symbols mean "horse", that doesnt mean he
knows how to pronounce "horse"! Well, this book is way ahead of
you: its also a pronunciation guide, with little pictures showing how to
shape your lips and teeth so as to say the words just right! How about them apples?
Korvis works his way through the book excitedly, until----
----he finds a new word: MAN.
If we needed any more proof that Korvis has an
extraordinary destiny before him, we have it in the instinct that leads him to pronounce
the letter "M" correctly, despite his guide never suggesting that he put his
lips together. Korvis repeats this magical word over and over "M-AN.
MMM-AN!!" until he undergoes his personal epiphany. "I am a man! I AM A MAN!!"
Meanwhile, unaware of these stirring events, which will
ultimately shake their world right to its very foundations, the Frauls of Comb Frisco are
foraging. We see that Rhea is with the band, although why the Tiara herself would be doing
this kind of crap-work is beyond me. For that matter, why arent the machos doing it?
Anyway, unbeknownst to the Frauls, danger lurks nearby in the shape of some highly
unimpressive specimens of the Plugart race who are, Omniscient Gruss informs us,
"dumb and hungry really dumb and really hungry." In spite
of these apparent drawbacks, these hairy throwbacks damn near take out the whole band of
Frauls, which leads us to the fundamental question lurking at the heart of America 3000:
How the heck did this bunch of incompetent bimbos ever get
to be in charge!!??
Or to put it another way given that the Frauls are
a bunch of incompetent bimbos, why the heck have the Plugarts put up with being shoved
around by them for the past few centuries? If a small band of grunting Neanderthals can
wipe out half a "Comb", why havent a few more specimens slightly higher up
the evolutionary ladder gotten together and----
Oh, hang on
. I think Im beginning to
understand. Is it no, no, dont tell me! - is it because
have forgotten that they are men!?
Ohhhhh, now I get it! Its an allegory,
isnt it!? Okay, okay, thats fine! Im sorry forget I said
A desperate battle ensues, in which both Frauls and
Plugarts suffer many casualties. Some of the Plugarts concentrate on stealing the food
gathered by the Frauls.
Interesting Things That Survived The Apocalypse #4, 5 and
6: garlic, eggplant and red cabbage. (Jeez, youd rather starve, wouldnt
The Frauls prove to be fierce warriors, and throw
themselves into the fray with enthusiasm (and in slow motion, which doesnt exactly
add to the credibility of the scene). They fight with knives, small crossbows, and their
Interesting Things That Survived The Apocalypse #7 and 8:
martial arts moves, and the tendency to shriek, "HIIYYYYYYAAH!!!!" whilst
Rhea herself is in the thick of the fight, and this proves
disastrous. A Plugart knifes her in the back. She strikes down her attacker, but she has
been fatally wounded. Meanwhile, life in Comb Frisco is going on as usual. We see Lakella,
now all grown up, of course, sharpening her knife. Another Fraul is in a cage battling a
huge, hairy, sub-Wookie kind of creature that O.G. tells us is "a detour from the
human race" caused by fallout from "the Great Nuke". Yes, as youve
probably guessed, this is Aargh The Awful!! and in battling the creature,
the Fraul is "trying to pass her final lawyers exam". (If one thing above
all else distinguishes David Engelbachs script, it is this tendency for cheap shots
with no punchline. We never do find out what, in this society, a "lawyer" is.)
As it happens, Aargh The Awful gets the better of things, and tosses the aspiring lawyer
out of his cage. (I guess you could say that she passed the bar, ha, HA!) At this
moment, the dying Rhea is carried into the Comb. Oh, no, I beg your pardon, she isnt
"dying" shes "goen cold real cold". A dose of some
potion or other is administered by the Combs medicine woman, who chants the
"magic word" ("Redcross, redcross!"), and Rhea recovers long enough to
name Vena her heir, much to Lakellas disgust. Vena doesnt feel that she is up
to the responsibility, but Rhea insists, giving the girl the pendant that is the
Tiaras symbol of authority. Rhea tells her daughter that the new Tiara must be a
leader who can "take us from the past into a new life. This was my dream, make it
yours." From this we infer that Rhea was a forward-thinking, progressive Tiara,
something that was not immediately apparent as we watched her checking out a teenaged
boys genitalia in order to select a "seeder" for her forced breeding
program. Rhea further tells Vena that there is a map in her "shelt" which she
must follow, and then "goes cold". The tribe then does this little "the
Tiara is cold, long livin the Tiara" ritual and swears fealty to Vena. The only
hold-out is Lakella, who finally, reluctantly, swears as well.
While this is going on, Korvis and Gruss discover the
scene of the Fraul/Plugart battle. Gruss collects "weaps", Korvis
"eats". (Yeah, I can see how the word "eats" would be much more likely
than the word "food" to survive the apocalypse.) Korvis pulls some things out of
an overturned wagon, and finds a "toy". This, Gruss informs us, is a
Fraul plaything a Plugart who has been robbed of his ability to speak by having his
tongue cut off and, to keep him gentle, has had something else cut off as
well. (Hmm, more evidence of Rheas enlightened leadership.) Korvis immediately
adopts poor Amie (Amie? and if he cant speak, how do they know!?). A
band of Frauls appears on the horizon, and the three Plugarts run away.
The induction of a new Tiara is a big social event in the
Fraul world (any excuse to gussy yourselves up for a party, hey, girls?), and the ceremony
is attended by the Tiara of The Comb Next Door, Morha; her Second, Freyha; and a bunch of
their followers. Freyha and Lakella face each other, and cross their knives as they chant
a little greeting ritual: "I, Lakella, Second to Vena, Tiara of Frisco, give you safe
shelter!" "I, Freyha, Second to Morha, Tiara of Kanso, accept your safe
shelter!" all of which might have been a bit more impressive had either of
these mighty warriors been able to get their knives back in their belts afterwards on the
first, or even second, attempt. Venas inauguration begins, and she emerges from her
"shelt" wearing a blue robe and with the biggest, highest, widest hair I have ever
seen. The Friscos Elder then starts the ceremony with a ritual speech. Its
couched in deeply mystical language, of course, but if you listen very closely, you
might just get a clue as to how all of this Came To Be.
"Once the world was green and livin. Then was the
Great Nuke. Death lived everywhere!" (Ah, so they know the word "death". So
what was that "goen cold" crap about?) "All were born sick and unclean
a livin curse from the Merkins and Commies!" (Interesting that they retain the
word "Commie" accurately enough, but theyve forgotten the name of their
own country. Well, I guess thats Merkins for ya!) "Then, one day, a baby was
born clean and clear and the livin curse was over! The child grew strong and
beautiful, and she was called----"
The Friscos raise their clenched fists and chant,
"WOMAN!" all with rather less co-ordination and enthusiasm than
youd find at your average cheerleader try-out.
"Woman taught her children to follow the Tiara and
follow the regs, and the Earth lived again! But some disobeyed the regs, and from them
came the children of darkness and disease!"
"PLUGART!!" chant the Friscos, managing a tad
"Plugarts [*mumble, mumble*] nuked, till
neggie are left!" shouts (you wouldnt think you could mumble and shout
at the same time, would you?) the Elder. And then its time for Venas Oath Of
Office. "Vena of Frisco solemn swear to enforce the regs, oversee the
birthins, and rule the Comb until the Prezzydent comes to lead us into a new
tomorrow!" (In contrast, we assume, to the previous "Prezzydent", who seems
to have led them right back into the Stone Age.) "Solemn swear!" chirps Vena,
then completes the ritual by lighting her mothers funeral pyre. And then its
time to PAR-TEY, as the Frauls go completely woggos! And at long, long last, we get a
reasonable explanation for the Frauls superiority: unlike the Plugarts, they have
managed to reinvent alcohol! (Of course, this might also explain why they never got
around to producing houses, clothes, and comfy chairs.)
Alas for the Frauls! Korvis is nearby, and sees his
chance. He rushes back to the other Plugarts, and tells them that this is the time to
attack the Comb. "Theyre getting all loose and woggoed!" He then tries to
inspire the others with his own vision of the future which does not include
the extermination of the Frauls. At first, his words fall upon stony ground. "Effen
Frauls! Nuke em all!" growls Gruss. Korvis reproves him, but Gruss adds
defiantly, "This kind of hiden seeken makes me feel cold!" (Yeah, and this kind
of crappen onnen is painen butten, too!) "Ya gotta get hot on new ways, Gruss!"
Korvis insists. "Were gunna be better than the Frauls!" The eyes of
his followers light as he addresses them. "Neggie more machos!" he promises
them. "Neggie more toys!"
"Neggie more seeders?" questions one of the men,
and I think youll agree that Im behind my usual schedule here, as it was at
this moment, twenty minutes into a truly crap film, that I had my first
"Simpsons" flash; in this case, the founding of Springfield, when Jebediah
Springfield offers people the chance to follow him into a life of "chastity,
abstinence, and a flavourless mush I call root marm". Shelbyville Manhattan, on the
other hand, as you might recall, offers an alternative future founded on the right of men
to marry their cousins "Because theyre so damned attractive!"
Korvis turns out to have far more Springfieldians than Shelbyvillians amongst his
followers. In answer to his companions question, he says firmly, "Neggie more
seeders!" and the others look pleased! I dunno, somehow this strikes me
as somewhat improbable. But then, what would I know? Im only an unseeded Fraul,
The riotous celebration continues in the Comb, with the
Frauls getting thoroughly---- Gee, I dont actually know how to describe their
condition. The word "pissed" does survive into the post-apocalyptic
future, Im sure youll be pleased to know, but only in the sense of being
angry, not in the sense of being, well, pissed. Vena has withdrawn, taking the opportunity
to study the map her mother spoke of. She is joined by her loyal friend, Lynka, who is
horrified to see that it is a map of the Contam. Lynka reminds Vena that just because she
is Tiara, that doesnt mean she can break the regs. "If Lakella finds out,
shell death-challenge you for sure!" Vena promises to be careful, adding that
she is glad to have Lynka by her side. "Not for much longer," says Lynka glumly,
explaining that it is her "season", the time she must be seeded.
"Woggos!" exclaims the appalled Vena, further opining that being Tiara is easy
in comparison to being seeded. And here, you see, we have another reason why the society
of the Frauls cannot possibly survive. I mean, women who look at pregnancy and childbirth
as an ordeal! tsk, tsk! Vena tells Lynka that even if she does go into the
Contam, she will be back for the birth, and the two embrace.
When dawn breaks, Korviss band who really do
give a whole new dimension to the expression "rag-tag" approach the Comb.
"Korvis was a born leader!" says O.G. admiringly. Hmm an inferior Plugart
whos a "born leader", a reluctant Tiara---- Where can this possibly
be heading? Korvis takes out the lone Fraul guard and they enter the compound. Whatever
the Frauls cooked up by way of booze must be great stuff, because Korvis & co.
proceed to plunder the Comb, stealing the eats and weaps and generally wrecking the joint,
without one of the Frauls waking up. The invaders then try to free the machos, which
proves unexpectedly difficult, as these helpless Plugarts have had their spirits so
crushed that theyre scared to leave their enclosure. Korvis, meanwhile, has
discovered Venas shelt, and is gazing in at the new Tiara (who lies on her back with
her legs invitingly bare and apart) with a strange new stirring
. (No, not that!
Well, okay, maybe that.) Gruss drags him away, and he assists with the freeing of the
machos. He tries inspiring them with his vision and then, when that fails dismally, plies
them with stolen alcohol instead. Bingo! The raid has almost been completed when Korvis
("Im not leaving any man behind!") decides to free Aargh The Awful.
This proves, as you might suspect, a tactical error. "Effen woggos!" cries the
horrified Korvis when he sees what he hath wrought. The ruckus finally rouses the hungover
Frauls. Korvis and the others escape, briefly trapping their pursuers by cutting the ropes
that control the compounds gates. Korvis takes two horses (his own having a blanket
made of a piece of material covered with stars and stripes ARE WE ALL ON THE SAME
PAGE HERE??) and drags branches after them to stir up a false dust trail, sending the
other Plug--- I mean, men, back to camp. The Frauls, led by Vena and Lakella, fall
for Korviss cunning scheme. Finally, Vena realises what has happened. "Effen
Plugart tricked me!" she exclaims, half-frightened, half-awed. Lakella is not
convinced. "Plugarts got neggie smarts for tricken no-one!" she pronounces
contemptuously (an emotion which might have been directed at David Engelbach, granted).
The Frauls split up to search for this remarkable Plugart. Korvis, meanwhile, has cornered
himself on top of a high ridge, and Vena and Lakella see him before he sees them. Vena
raises her small crossbow but somehow cannot bring herself to fire. Korvis sees that he is
danger and raises his own crossbow, but recognising Vena, he likewise does not shoot.
Finally, Lakella, disgusted with all this (and rightly), does fire. Her arrow strikes
Korvis in the chest and sends him plummeting into a deep cavern. Lakella smirks,
satisfied. Vena, however, looks strangely saddened
But fear not, gentle reader! Korvis is not killed so
easily. He survives the fall (hes not even winded!) and the arrow: it
buried itself in the ABC book, which he carries over his heart. Awwww!
Korvis then finds himself in a strange underground bunker.
Would you believe it? a full nine hundred years after the apocalypse, the
electricity is still working! (As indeed are the batteries in the ghettoblaster, and the
hand-held remote control, that Korvis will soon discover.) After the shock caused by voice
activated electric light, Korvis sees cupboards bearing the words "ARMS" and
"Authorised Personnel". He opens one (theyre not locked, or
anything) and finds inside some nifty high-tech laser guns (also fully functional),
complete with their own little instruction booklets! (I dunno, I would have thought that
"Authorised Personnel" meant people who already knew how to use them!?) Korvis
opens one of the booklets and starts figuring these new weapons out. Admirable as his
literacy skills are, it is possibly just as well that the instructions come in the form of
diagrams rather than words, even if this does seem a trifle unlikely. (Then again, these were
intended for the American military, werent they? [Hey, now, come on, guys! You have
to admit, Ive been very restrained up to this point!]) Practising, Korvis manages to
blast his way through a door marked with something called a "Presidential Seal".
Venturing in, he discovers more wonders. And hey! who knew that Reagan was into
pinball and Arcade? Ya learn something new every day, I guess! Korvis picks up a small
black box covered in buttons, and accidentally activates a monitor on the far side of the
room. A man in uniform says urgently, "Mr President! Mr President!"
Korvis reacts violently, startled by both the appearance
of this strange man and his mention of that legendary figure, "the Prezzydent".
As Korvis listens, mystified, the man explains that "the computers reporting a
massive Soviet first strike were in error". However, due to "standing
Presidential orders" the computers reacted to the perceived threat by initiating
"a total retaliatory response". A Soviet counterstrike, he adds, has also
been confirmed. The man in uniform then becomes emotional, exclaiming, "We
didnt ask for this war, but goddamn, we WON IT!!" Yeah, congratulations.
All of this means nothing to Korvis, of course, who
wanders off without even beginning to comprehend that he has heard his own peoples
history. Isnt it just too poignant? Oh, the humanity! [*sniff*]
Vena, meanwhile, has separated herself from her companions
(she thinks) and is following Rheas map through the Contam. She enters a cave,
watched by Lakella, and O.G. informs us, "What she was going to discover in that cave
was going to change the way things were supposed to go for Frauls and
Korvis has gathered more goodies from the bunker.
Interesting Things That Survived The Apocalypse #9, 10 and
11: gold lamé contamination suits (gold lamé!!?? Jeez, I would have thought that
was more a Clinton-era thing), a working ghettoblaster, and a comic book named
After dressing himself in one of the suits, Korvis rides
off with his haul. In the middle of nowhere he encounters Leiz. In the films
creepiest plot thread, Leiz is "the Toykeeper" the elderly man who
"looks after" the young boys destined to be the Frauls "toys".
Seeing the gold-clad figure, Leiz takes Korvis for "the Prezzydent" and
prostrates himself. Korvis immediately capitalises on the situation (helped no end by the
fact that donning the contamination suit has somehow made his voice loud, booming and
re-verby). He tells Leiz that as "Prezzydent", he will free the Plugarts from
the Frauls (typical politician promises, promises), and that there will be
"neggie machos, neggie toys". (Hmm, he seems to have dropped the "neggie
seeders" line. I guess that wasnt a "core promise". [Authors
note: regional joke.]) Leiz looks thoroughly horrified at the thought of "neggie
toys". We will give him the benefit of the doubt, and assume that he fears
unemployment, not unemployment. Korvis then pumps Leiz for information. This is one
of the films most incomprehensible passages, but we gather that Leiz tells Korvis
that Vena is away "proving herself" and that Lynka, the new Tiaras best
friend, is off getting seeded. Korvis warns Leiz not to speak of their meeting, and sends
him back to Comb Frisco.
Outside the Comb, Lakella is waiting for Vena with Morha
and Freyha. The Tiara rides up, demonstrating the outcome of her exploration of the cave:
"Thunder rocks! I made them," she adds, which seems rather unlikely. She
explodes a few more of her homemade grenades, terrifying Morha. "You broke the regs!
You will bring the curse upon us!" she hisses. "You fear me, not the
curse!" sneers Vena, who seems to have discovered a sizeable chunk of attitude lying
around in that cave, too.
Back at Camp Reagan, the Plugarts are busy "trying to
turn the machos into men. We had a long way to go!" Gruss comments. This is
possibly because the de-machoing process consists of nothing more than forcing the former
slaves heads into troughs of water. At that rate, theyll want to go
back to the Frauls. Suddenly, Gruss and Relk (another man) hear a strange noise,
and see an even stranger figure. After a moment of terror, the creature in gold pulls off
his headgear and---- "Its Korvis!" exclaims Gruss. Gee, no kidding!
Korvis demonstrates the ghettoblaster, then tells his followers that he has "hot
weaps from the Merkins" although why there should have been a stash of
hand-grenades and flare-guns in Reagans bedroom is beyond me. (Hey, maybe---- Nnnno,
I think Ill let that one pass
.) At this moment, Aargh The Awful, who has been
hanging around Camp Reagan and stinking up the joint, discovers something else from the
Interesting Things That Survived The Apocalypse #12:
Yes, indeed! And smelly old Aargh The Awful goes to town
with it, spraying it all over himself, including onto his butt and directly into his eyes.
Comedy! (We notice, BTW, that this is very generic air-freshener. I guess even the Product
Placement people have their limits.)
Korvis meets with Gruss and Relk. He tells them his plan
to kidnap Lynka from the seeding camp, and use her as a hostage to force a meeting with
Vena. In this way, much nuken might be avoided. They will also destroy the camp itself,
and free the seeders. (Boy, I bet theyll be grateful!) Gruss expresses doubt
that Vena will meet with a Plugart even under these circumstances. Korvis suggests slyly
that she might, however, meet with the Prezzydent! All this time, the other men
having been playing with the "hot weaps", and now the inevitable happens.
Korvis, Gruss and Relk run outside, finding a single, smoking foot, and the rest of the
band cringing behind a wall in utter terror. Korvis tries to explain that it was mis-use
of a weap that caused the explosion "Neggie spirits! Neggie curse!" Gruss
has been glancing through the pilfered issue of "Warlord", and in its mystic
pages, finds instructions for the correct use of a grenade. He hurls one, and it explodes
at a safe distance. "Thats fan-plastic!" exults Relk. Suddenly, Gruss
undergoes a strange conversion, becoming convinced that Korvis really is "the
Prezzydent". "Follow the Prezzydent! Follow the Prezzydent!" he begins
chanting, working the others up to the same level of enthusiasm. (Hmm, sounds to me like
Gruss is angling for Vice-Prezzydent and believe me, hes fully qualified!)
Soon afterwards, Lynka is about to undergo her Ordeal.
Another Fraul reassures her that they picked her out a "clean one", but this
doesnt seem to cheer her up much. We soon see why: the seeding ritual involves the
Fraul being roped to the bed. (Lets see: within a slave-owning society with a
forced breeding program, we have a ritual that involves the member of the ruling class
being tied up, and the slave being left free. Yeah, thatll work!) The seeder
enters---ah, walks into the room, covered from head to foot in a robe. And they, er, get
right to it; and after a while, it would seem that Lynka is getting into the whole
experience rather more than a dedicated Fraul should. However, she is kept from completely
betraying her principles when coitus interruptus of a more than usually abrupt
nature occurs. Gruss and Relk storm into the room, "freeing" the seeder (in more
ways than one) and capturing Lynka. The seeder slowly pulls the hood from his face. He is
A Very Pretty Plugart Indeed. Lynka gives a big relieved smile. I mean, she might
be facing a hideously painful death at the hands of her mortal enemies, but at least she
wasnt doing it with an ugmo, or anything.
That night, the men storm Comb Frisco, terrifying the
Frauls with flares, music from the ghettoblaster, and a contamination suit on a pole.
There is much screaming and running around. One of the Frauls faints. Yeah, right. The men
giggle madly at the womens reaction, conveniently forgetting how petrified they were
in a similar situation. Typical. The ghettoblaster stops emitting anonymous rock music,
and mysteriously produces the 1812 Overture instead. The hidden Korvis, who apparently
found one of those "talk through your radio" jobbies in Reagans bedroom as
well (no comment), then addresses the Frauls. He speaks directly to Vena as "the
spirit of the Prezzydent", and orders her to meet him at the edge of the Contam. If
she does so, Lynka will be returned safely. If she disobeys, it will be "like the
Merkins and the Commies!" For a big finale, the mock-Prezzydent is blown up with a
grenade. The Frauls are left in a quandary. Vena believes what she has seen and heard.
Morha, however, pours scorn on the idea of the Prezzydent being a Plugart, and dismisses
the whole display as a "Plugart trick". (As usual, the Bad Guys being right does
them no good at all.) She encourages Vena to attack the Plugarts. Vena refuses, announcing
her intention of "following the Prezzydents commands!" (Is this girl
Furstlaydee material or what?) Morha and Freyha take the opportunity to further poison
Lakellas mind against Vena although what the two hope to gain from their
treachery is never exactly clear.
Vena rides out as instructed and meets the Prezzydent, who
is in full lamé regalia and has his re-verb working. Lynka is released, and Vena sends
her home. Korvis then promises things that are for "the Tiaras eyes only",
and the two ride off. Meanwhile, Lakella, Morha and Freyha are filling their sisters full
of homebrew in preparation for a sneak attack on the Plugarts.
Interesting Things That Survived The Apocalypse #13: two
Frauls are seen beating on drums wrapped in a banner that reads The Rolling Stones
Farewell Tour 1989 (close, but no cigar, Dave).
Morha clashes with two of the Frauls loyal to Vena before
leaping onto a platform to deliver a stirring pre-match speech. Her tanked-up troops cheer
enthusiastically. Seeing whats coming, Leiz tries to escape the Comb, and gets a
knife in the back for his trouble. He rather improbably continues to crawl away, and Morha
lets him. Foolish Fraul!
Korvis is showing Vena the wonders of the bunker. She is
both impressed and frightened, finally demanding to know why the Prezzydent is scannen her
all this. Korvis begins to answer her, but unwisely calls Vena "Fraul". "I
am WOMAN!" she insists proudly. "And what am I?" asks the Prezzydent.
"Dont know. Maybe spirit. Maybe Plugart!" "Neggie
Plugart," replies Korvis, and takes off his hood. "YOU!!??" exclaims Vena
in horror and pulls a knife. Korvis assures her that he only wants to talk, "About
MAN!!" "MAN?" repeats Vena blankly. "Whatzit,
MAN?" "I am a MAN!" announces Korvis, stripping off his
contamination suit and revealing----
Interesting Things That Survived The Apocalypse #14:
Chesty Bond singlets.
"Neggie macho! Neggie toy!" he adds.
"Seeder?" suggests Vena, somewhat hopefully. "Neggie! MAN!! Feel," he
insists, offering his forearm, "flesh like Venas!" Yeah, well, I
didnt think that was under debate. Vena does feel, however. And Korvis feels
her shoulder in return. They establish that they have the same heartbeat, same eyes, same
ears. The pair of them then feel each other a bit more. In fact, they get very
touchy-feely. Then they progress to feeling up, then to copping a feel, and then,
well, lets just say that having verified their similarities, they settle down to a
thorough examination of one anothers differences.
Meanwhile, the Frauls attack the Plugart camp. This
wastes---ah, takes about ten minutes and is supposed to be the big climactic scene, but it
is very unimaginatively staged. I really dont have much to say about it, other than
registering a protest over the number of "tripped horse" stunts involved here.
(And just to add insult to injury, most of them are very poorly executed, with the trip
starting well before the explosion thats supposed to have caused it.) There is,
however, an hilariously rendered "head slam", where a Plugart is supposed to be
knocking two Frauls heads together, but carefully pulls up when theyre about
eight inches apart! (I mean, cmon! With that hair, its not like he
could hurt them!) Some Frauls are killed, and many Plugarts. Finally, Gruss is
forced to exercise his Second Bananas Death Battle Exemption, as Lakella sneaks up
on him with a spear, then waits motionless until he turns, sees her, and grabs her spear
before she tries anything with it.
Elsewhere, Vena is riding slowly back to the Comb, a
dreamy expression in her eyes. Cos shes a woman, W-O-M-A-N
. She almost
rides over the top of Leiz, who is still crawling along with that knife in his
back. He manages to tell Vena whats happening, gasps out, "Tell the
Prezzydent!" and dies. And little boys all over post-apocalyptica breathe a bit
Korvis arrives at Camp Reagan to find the battered and
bloodied remnants of his band. In spite of the Plugarts superior weaponry, the
Frauls have very nearly wiped them out. Korvis finds Gruss with the dying Amie (the
"toy", remember?) in his arms. "While you were talken, Frauls were
nuken!" Gruss wails. The enraged Korvis, believing that Vena has lied to him
("Cold damn lies!"), rides off to the Comb, where the Frauls too are dealing
with their losses. Vena sees Korvis and walks towards him with her hands raised, facing
him bravely as he draws his knife. She tries to explain that they were both tricked, and
promises that it will never happen again. "Solemn swear!" "Effen right it
wont!" snarls Korvis and starts towards her. The remaining Frauls run to
support their Tiara, while the other Plugarts ride up behind Korvis. Vena announces that
the decision as to what will happen next, what the future will be, is Korviss. She
removes her whip from her belt and casts it to the ground. Korvis hesitates, but is
overcome by his feelings for Vena. He throws his knife down beside her whip, and the next
instant the two are kissing passionately.
This behaviour rather puzzles the other Plugarts and
Frauls, who can only stare at their leaders in bewilderment. Oddly, as Omniscient Gruss
puts it, "the harder we scanned them, the hotter it looked!" Lynka is the first
to get the idea. She spies her seeder amongst the Plugarts, and fires her crossbow, the
arrow plunging deep into the ground. The seeder follows suit, his arrow plunging next to
hers (ah, I think its symbolic). Then Mela, a senior Fraul who has been
eyeing off Gruss, tosses down her weapon. He throws his gun beside it, reflecting
philosophically that, "Maybe there was something men and women could do to
each other besides fighten and nuken. I was gunna find out!"
And so it came to pass that the blonde-haired, blue-eyed
bimbos did inherit the Earth. And those of us who perished in the holocaust before any of
this could happen can only say thank You, God!
"Behold the future of mankind!"